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America's Cup

America's Cup gets down to businesss

The America's Cup Overture gathered at Cowes for two milestone announcements by Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton

The Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand and Challenger of Record - Luna Rossa, as well as New York Yacht Club American Magic and INEOS TEAM UK gathered at Cowes on Friday to kick off the next edition of the sailing’s most historic and iconic event.

The event at the Royal Yacht Squadron allowed the required organisational announcements to gather some media focus, with even the British press managing some coverage after Sir Ben rolled out an official video of the INEOS Team UK, T5 test boat.

Despite the friendly PR effort that has been run since the take-over of the Ben Ainslie America's Cup Team by Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos corporation, and the un-ceremonial ousting of the former backers, the involvement of one of the worlds largest plastic producers in the British challenge still rankles with some, although a final victory after 167 years could change that!

On behalf of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, Grant Dalton officially named Auckland as the venue for the 36th America’s Cup Match Presented by Prada and that racing will take place between 6th - 21st March 2021.

The Defender, Emirates Team New Zealand, will race against the winner of the Prada Cup, the Challenger Selection Series, in a best of 13 (first to seven points), in the America’s Cup Match.

AC75 Hologram show

And in accordance with the Protocol for the 36th America’s Cup, the race course area for the Prada Cup and America’s Cup Match was also announced.

The Racing Area is defined by a varied area outlined across the wider Hauraki Gulf, running south along the North Shore beaches around North Head encompassing the inner Waitemata harbour right up to Auckland’s iconic harbour bridge and downtown CBD, across Auckland’s Eastern suburbs and all the way out the Tamaki Strait between Waiheke Island and Maraetai.

The Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf will offer a plethora of race course options, with a full range of wind directions and conditions.

There has been specific consideration given to the ideal time of day for racing to start.

A tentative race time window is estimated between 16:00-18:00 local time, in order for a typical March sea breeze to reliably establish itself across the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf race courses, based on a leg length of between 1.3 - 2.2 NM.

Along with the proximity to public, consideration has been given to minimising race day cancellations due to too much wind or swell as was seen in the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco.

The course area, directly between Eastern Beach and Waiheke Island provides a sheltered, all wind direction race course and was the training ground of Emirates Team New Zealand for their successful 35th America’s Cup challenge in Bermuda.

The definitive race distance will depend on the wind speed and selected race course each day with an anticipated 35-minute race duration, including pre-start, based on a typical windward leeward configuration with potential for a dramatic final reaching leg to the finish line.

Friday evening, the 2018 America’s Cup Hall of Fame induction ceremony and black tie dinner took place at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

The event was to recognise the achievements and contributions made to the America’s Cup by John K Marshall, Syd Fischer, Ken McAlpine and Doug Peterson.

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